Commercio Justo: Guatemala Day One

Written by Cafe Campesino on January 15, 2013 in BLOG, Cafe Campesino, Sweetwater Organic Coffee


Our group on their first day in Guatemala.  Included in this picture are Faith Fuller of Desktop Documentaries; Ronnie from the Sentient Bean; Richard Haas from Earth Natural Foods in Norman, OK; Bill Harris of Cafe Campesino, Sweetwater Organic Coffee and Cooperative Coffees; David Minich and Sissy Ledbetter of Americus, Georgia; Miguel Mateo of Manos Campesinas; Mike Weaver of Sweetwater Organic Coffee and Dave Campbell of Cafe Campesino.  More to come!


Fair Trade: Where We Are

Written by Cafe Campesino on November 18, 2011 in BLOG, Cafe Campesino, Sweetwater Organic Coffee

Cafe Campesino & Sweetwater Organic Coffee believe in Fair, Direct, Transparent trade relationships.   We believe in cooperatives.  (We are members of one.)  We believe in a principled approach to Fair Trade, not a diluted version. We stand in solidtarity with the following organizations that have recently denounced Fair Trade USA/Transfair USA’s decision to depart from the existing Fair Trade system: Red Cafe – CLAC,  Fair Trade Network of Asian Producers, Fair Trade Africa, Just Coffee, Higher Grounds Trading Co., United Students for Fair Trade, Fair World Project and Equal Exchange. (Read more about Latin American producers’ position on FTUSA’s move).

Where do we go from here?

Keep Farmers first.   This is an opportunity to re-focus Fair Trade back on the farmers- not the certification discussion or the consumer.  This is an opportunity for farmers to get more out of the Fair Trade system and an opportunity for importers and roasters to challenge farmer organizations to start setting their own terms of  trade.  Fair Trade is meant to serve farmers.

Continue working.  We would rather spend time practicing Fair Trade principles and improving our system than talking about certification.

Keep a watchful eye.  Five years ago, Cafe Campesino withdrew as a Transfair USA licensee (we decided not to use the Transfair sticker),  because we did not believe that it was okay to let companies who source only a small amount of Fair Trade products to present themselves as “Fair Trade Certified.”   This summer, we joined 10,000 others in signing the Organic Consumers Association’s petition to stop Transfair USA from trademarking the term “Fair Trade USA.”  Now, we’re speaking out against Fair Trade USA’s efforts to certify plantations, and we’re wondering what’s coming next. 

Remain Transparent.  Along with more than 20 other roasters who are members of Cooperative Coffees, we are posting all of our purchasing contracts at the website, Fair Trade Proof.   Find contracts for Cafe Campesino and Sweetwater Organic Coffee on that site, or email us with your questions, info@cafecampesino.com




Our Importing Cooperative: Now Fair Trade Certified by IMO

Written by nema on April 27, 2011 in BLOG, Cafe Campesino, Sweetwater Organic Coffee

Cooperative Coffees Products Get “Fair for Life” Certification

April 15, 2011- From the Fair Trade Resource Network

Cooperative Coffees announced that its products have been officially certified under IMO’s “Fair for Life Social & Fairtrade Certified” program. The program was founded in 2006 by the Institute for Marketology (IMO) and the Swiss Bio-Foundation in response to the growing need for a system that included a broader range of products and operations. “Fair for Life” complements existing certifications by incorporating standards from FLO, ISEAL, Rainforest Alliance, SA 8000 (from Social Accountability International) and ILO. Cooperative Coffees products had been Fair Trade Certified by FLO.

Continue reading above announcement at the Fair Trade Resource Network websiteLearn more about Fair Trade on their website.


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Back from Guatemala- Chajul Cooperative in Photos

Written by nema on April 5, 2011 in BLOG, Cafe Campesino, Sweetwater Organic Coffee

Bill, Tina, Tripp and I have freshly returned from Guatemala this week.   We spent seven days traveling throughout the country visiting coffee producing cooperatives and – for Tina and I- learning about the exportation process of coffee.  Below are some beautiful pictures that Tina took during our visit to the Associacion Chajulense that is located in the Quiche department of Guatemala.  Look for more photos and blog posts to come.

Coffee Processing Facility in Chajul.

Some remaining coffee cherries on Don Pedro's land.

Pedro Pocheko Bop is an "associo" or member of the Associacion Chajulense. Don Pedro farms coffee on land he inherited from his father in the Chel community north of Chajul.

Some Cooperative Coffees Board Members with Bill and Miguel Tzoy.

(L-R) Bill Harris of Cooperative Coffees, Lee Wallace of Peace Coffee, Miguel Tzoy of Associacion Chajulense, Tio Pistilli of Bongo Java, Mike Mays of Heine Bros. and Tripp Pomeroy of Cafe Campesino. Lee, Tio, Mike and Tripp all serve on the board of Cooperative Coffees.

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Harvest of Hope Auction

Written by Cafe Campesino on October 4, 2010 in BLOG, Sweetwater Organic Coffee

On Friday October 1st, Harvest of Hope Foundation and Sweetwater hosted a Charity Auction to raise funds for the Migrant Farmworkers in Alachua County, Florida.  We rasied $2,000 for the cause. Proceeds raised will fund the Alachua County Migrant Farmworker Fund and the Shands Emergency Migrant Funds.

The weather was awesome and the event was well attended.  Delicious  food was provided by Rolls N Bowls and Boca Fiesta.  Acoustic music filled the air as potential buyers browsed the many donations for both the silent and live auction.

It has been decided that this will become an annual event drawing even larger crowds and bigger bounties!  Many thanks to everyone that participated in this event in one way or another!

For more information on the Harvest of Hope Foundation check out their website:


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Faces of Sweetwater

Written by Cafe Campesino on June 14, 2010 in BLOG, Sweetwater Organic Coffee
The boss and Amanda

The Boss and Amanda

The mom and son team at Sweetwater Organic Coffee keep the beans  aroasting and the coffee flowing with their awesome customer service and smiles.

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